Meet Jerry Walker, recipient of the Ball State Alumni Award of Achievement. In 1998, Walker graduated from CCIM with a degree in Telecommunications and a minor in Computer Science, and in 1999, he graduated from the Center of Information and Communication Sciences (CICS). He now works as the CIO and Director of Information Technology for the Oregon State Treasury.
The Alumni Achievement Award recognizes the expanding achievements or leadership of alumni, whether professional or civic. This mid-career award honors alumni whose ongoing achievements have brought distinction to themselves as well as recognition to Ball State University.
Walker currently serves on the CCIM Dean’s Executive Advisory Committee as well as the CICS Alumni Council, and he and his wife sponsor the Jerry and Krishna Walker Scholarship to support students from traditionally underrepresented minority groups pursuing a graduate degree in CICS.
Can you tell us about your role with the Oregon State Treasury?
I direct the Information Technology division by facilitating all activities necessary to provide vision, leadership, guidance, and coordination for enterprise-level information technology across all agency divisions, programs, and business units.
How does it feel to be recognized with the Ball State Alumni Achievement Award?
I am honored to be recognized by my alma mater. I love telling my story of BSU along with my career growth and this adds another dimension to my story that I have not been able to tell before.
Why do you believe you were selected for this award?
You know, I do not really ask to be nominated for any type of awards. The things that I do for my community, the mentorship and sponsorship I provide, and the willingness to help those in need from underrepresented communities are just part of what I do and I ask nothing in return. So, to be recognized by my alma mater puts a huge smile across my face and I am extremely grateful for the recognition.
Have you won any other awards for your work? If so, what are some of the ones that are most significant to you?
I was inducted into the CICS Hall of Fame Award 2020, received the 2022 CCIM Alumni Achievement Award, was named St. Louis Regional Business Council YPN Leadership 100 and have received numerous board service awards.
What has been your proudest moment in your career so far?
The digital transformation of the St. Louis Treasurer’s Office and DEI Culture Transformation in IT at the Oregon State Treasury.
What brought you to Ball State?
Charles Martin was a BSU alum and a huge name for us during high school in South Bend, and he encouraged that I attend BSU.
Was there a specific moment where you decided what you wanted to do professionally?
During my time in Telecom studies, I learned about CICS.
What was your experience like at Ball State and in CCIM?
I loved it. The ability to be hands on in CCIM was great. Not only did you learn academically, but you also had to work the studios and produce shows. BSU created a lot of fun memories for me, especially living in Palmer Davidson.
How did that experience prepare you for where you are today?
For me, it created the mindset of being able to both talk the tech but also work the tech. I got to a point that I wanted to be the go-to person in the room for all information and how to in Information Technology.
Do you have any favorite memories from your time at Ball State?
Spades games in Palmer Davidson lobby. There would easily be 4 tables going with many more people waiting to play.
Were you involved in any student organizations at Ball State?
Yes a few of them, and I can’t remember them all, but I was a member of the Latino Student Union, Black Student Union, “Sum It Up,” and more.
Do you have any projects you were particularly proud of from your time at Ball State?
I would say any of the Sum It Up shows that were produced by students.
If you could talk to your freshman self, what advice would you give?
Not sure, everything I learned at Ball State I needed to learn and I don’t think I would change it.
Have you been involved with BSU/CCIM since graduating? If so, how?
Yes. I am currently on the CCIM Dean’s Executive Advisory Committee, CICS Alumni Council and both my wife and I have scholarships at Ball State.
Read more about the other 2023 Alumni Award winners from CCIM here.